What is(are) your name(s)?
Sheila and Ira Chaffin
For how long have you been running a B&B?
Please share something about the history of your present bed and breakfast.
Cobb Lane BEd and Breakfast is in the National Historic Registered "Bingham Tarrant House" in the Five Points South National Historic District. The home was built in 1898 by Mr. Bingham, the City's Fedeal Tax collector, who had an office in the Title Building on 20th Street. The original Carriage House is still on the property in the rear. In 1908, Mr. Felix Tarrant purchased the home when he was a local Dentist but became famous when he invited the steel pipe which revoluntionized utilities in the country. He was a Trustee of the nearby Highland Methodist Church and allowed the church to use it as their minister's parsonage and Sunday School, and for a few years, contained several apartments rented to University of Alabama Birmingham students. In 1948, Robert Handrahan purchased the property and it became a ballet shop, a real estate office, and Kaplan tutoring testing service. Next in 1995, it was home to 5 massages, a Christian marriage counceling service, and a divorce lawyer. Finally in late 2003, Ira and Chaffin purchased and renovated it to become a Bed and Breakfast and their residence.
What are the unique characteristics of your B&B?
We are the only Bed and Breakfast in the City of Birmingham and in the 7 County region surrounding the City. We offer a unique and special accommodation which preserves one of the region's Victorian historic homes, a special and different experience for the traveler whose name is remembered by the hosts and who presence is appreciated. The Inn has many repeat guests who come to the region on business and pleasure.
Based on your guests' opinions, what feature of your B&B has made their stay special?
Guests remark that they like the friendliness in the historic home. They like the daily full hot cooked breakfast served on fine china, with crystal goblets, under the crystal chandelier in the Dining Room. Guets may also enjoy breakfast-in-bed, at no extra charge. Fresh made cookies are available daily in our front parlor and complimentary beverages. Often guests bask in the sunshine on our beautiful Victorian front porch and conduct business by lap top to their far away snow covered cities.
Please describe in short your bed and breakfast and its general services and amenities.
The Inn is known for its graciousness and convenience in Alabama's largest City, yet separated enough from the high-rises and admidst the walkable residential streets to get the feeling of yesterday-year, an era bygone. Six rooms enter from the main front door, the front parlor and major Victorian staircase to their rooms. Two rooms enter by private doors. All rooms have private bathrooms with modern plumbing, except for the Periwinkle Room which has the original 1898 original bathroom including the claw tub with shower above and brass circle for the shower curtian. Guests eat breakfast at the Dining Room table or may have breakfast in bed, at no extra charge. There are 2 large porches, the front main porch that fronts 19th Street South, and a rear porch accessible to the Zebra Room. High speed wireless internet is accessed throughout the home, with cable TV and TV's in each guest room.
How many rooms are offered at your B&B and what is its maximum capacity?
1 Economy Room (Camellia) -- Double Bed, its private bath across the hall
3 Standard Rooms (Zebra, Bird of Paradise, Periwinkle) -- Queen Beds, private baths inside the rooms
1 Deluxe Room (Rose) -- Queen Half Tester Bed, private bath inside the room
What kinds of rooms do you offer?
Five rooms accommodate 2 persons with a private bath (Camellia, Rose, Bird of Paradise, Periwinkle, Zebra rooms). One suite (Southern Magnolia) accommodates 2 persons with a private bath and also has a beautiful Victorian private parlor featuring a Scarlett O'Hara fainting couch and is usually the selected Honeymoon accommodation. The other suite (Country French) has 2 bedrooms and a private bath, and accommodates 4 persons in 2 bedrooms. It is a good choice for a family or 2 couples traveling together. The total occupancy of the Inn is 6 rooms of 2 persons plus one suite of 4 persons = 16 persons.
Please describe the in-room facilities for each type of room in your B&B.
All guest accommodations have a private bath, TV with cable TV service, ironing board, iron, access to high-speed wireless internet, access to the main parlors, dining room and porches, free on-site parking, complimentary parlor cookies and guest beverages. The building has full air conditioning and heating. A guest refrigerator is located on main level for guests to keep items needing refrigeration and they are welcome to warm-up restaurant bring-backs in the microwave. Two guest rooms have 1898 fireplaces, which are ornamental (Bird of Paradise and Rose Rooms).
Which room is your personal favorite?
Rose Room is the prettiest to me, and a favorite of established couples who enjoy its central location, whereas honeymooners usually choose the Southern Magnoia Suite located on the upper level with its greater privacy. For a family traveling with several members or with children, Country Frnech suite is a good choice.
What do the room rates include?
Full hot cooked breakfast, on-site parking, cookies in the parlor, guest beverages, cable TV, access to high-speed wireless internet (bring your hand-helds and lap tops). Taxes are added to the advertised room rates.
Do you offer any special packages?
Please ask Innkeepers about University rates for UAB students, patients and special visitors; Corporate weekly rates; and Extended Stay rates for monthly stays.
What may guests expect from a typical breakfast at your property?
Southern Hospitality full hot cooked Breakfasts feature eggs (omelettes, quiche, or scrambled eggs), breakfast meats (sauce, bacon, or ham), breakfast breads (blueberry pancakes, scones, muffins, biscuits or croissants), fresh fruit in season (strawberries, melons, blueberries, oranges, kiwi, or bananas), fruit juices (orange, apple or cranberry), hot coffee (regular or decaf) and hot tea (choose from about 20 varieties offered). Please tell Innkeeper if you need a special different diet, this will be accommodated.
When and where is breakfast served?
Monday through Friday -- 7:00 AM
Saturdays -- 8:00 AM
Sundays -- 9:00 AM
Are dietary needs accommodated?
Yes. Most common requests are vegetarian, gluten free, low-fat and diabetic friendly. Please tell the Innkeeper at time of reservation.
Do you serve other meals?
We offer our fresh baked cookies and complimentary beverages in our parlor. Lunch and Dinner are not served. There are 26 restaurants within a walkable 3 block area around the Inn. Even those staying in hotels in outter locations come to this area for Lunch and Dinners.
Are there cooking facilities, which guests may use?
Guests are welcome to use a Guest Refrigerator in the kitchen and the microwave for warm-ups. They are not allowed to use the Inn's Refrigerator or Stove/Oven per Health Department regulations.
Is your bed and breakfast suitable for children?
Well behaved parent supervised children are welcome, there is no age limit. Parents are responsible for any breakfage, should it occur. Please advise the Innkeepers at reservation time that children will be coming so the best room choice for the family can be offered and selected.
Do you accept pets?
Unfortunately, no pets are allowed in the Inn or on the premises. The Innkeeper is highly allergic to dogs and cats and no exception can be granted. We can recommend a good overnight dog accommodation that recently opened nearby where your pet will be well taken care of while we pamper you!
What is your smoking policy?
No smoking is allowed inside the Inn because it is a National Historic irreplaceable landmark and also because the Innkeeper is highly allergic to smoke and lives there. Also, no incense burning is allowed in the rooms. Smoking is allowed using an ashtray in the garden and porches away from the building.
Is there a parking facility on premises or nearby?
Yes, on-site parking in our parking lot is included.
Is your B&B suitable for disabled guests?
There is no elevator in the Inn. Zebra Room with separate entrance requires traversing 4 steps to its patio and into the door. The shower has a seat. The other rooms are accessed via the 7 front porch steps, then Camellia and Rose Room are straight down the main hall. Camellia bathroom has side-mount handicapped toilet bars but its tub and sink are standard, not ADA. Four rooms, Bird of Paradise, Periwinkle, Country French and Southern Magnolia, are accessed via main Victorian staircase of about 26 steps.
What safety precautions are provided at your B&B?
The Inn is fully fire sprinklered with wet pipe system on a 24/7 monitored system, has hard-wired smoke detectors, fire alarm pulls and fire extinguishers throughout. The Inn is kept locked and each guest bedroom is locked. Across the street is the Five Points Police Headquarters and other residences.
What is your check-in/check-out policy?
Daily check in starts at 3 PM. Daily check out is 11 AM. Arrivals after 9 PM are allowed but please advise the Innkeeper.
Are there a minimum number of nights for staying at your B&B?
No minimum stay.
How can guests check availability and make a reservation?
Reservations taken by phone 205-918-9090 but prefer guests use our web-site:
Click "Rooms and Rates" to pick your favorite room
Then Click "Availability and Reserations" at top right to make your reservations
What is you cancellation policy?
Guest Credit Cards are charged 48 hours prior to arrival becaues of our 48 hour cancellation policy. After that time, the charge will not be refunded. Stays of greater than 3 room nights will require a deposit at time of reservation which is fully applied at arrival but in case of cancellation or no-show, the deposit is non refundable.
What types of payment do you accept?
We accept AMEX, Visa, and Mastercard. A valid credit card is required in order to reserve a room.
We do NOT accept checks, Diners Club, or Discover card.
Is there a special etiquette that guests should know about and comply with?
As a small establishment, it is important to notify the Innkeepers if you will not be taking breakfast the next morning since one will be cooked for you unless you specify otherwise. Bed and Breakfasts are different from chain hotels which have desk clerks present 24/7 on 3 shifts. Innkeepers go to bed and live at the Inn so it is important to let them know if you will be later than 9 PM in your arrival. Later arrival after 9 PM is fine but the Innkeepers need to know this to show you how to enter.
Please tell us what things guests might enjoy visiting, seeing, doing, etc. in your area.
University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Kirklin Clinic are 3 blocks away. Vulcan Monument with the City's theme-sake sculpture "Vulcan" is on top of Red Mountain, the hill behind the Inn. Talladega Motor Sports racing track is an hour east and Barber Motor Sports museum and raceway is 20 minutes away. The Birmingham Civil Rights Museum, 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park and Civil Rights Trail are within 5 minutes. The Bimingham Zoo and Botantical Gardens are in nearby Mountain Brooks. Other nearby colleges are Samford University, Birmingham Southern College and Miles College. The Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center (BJCC) and Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center are close by and home to many major national talent events. Football games at the Nation's number one football Bryan STadium at Univesity of Alabama Tuscaloosa is an nour drive away. Civil War battle sitse and museums are 2-5 hours away, at Shiloah, Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Vicksburg.
Where is your B&B located and how it may be reached?
The Inn is conveniently located in the Five Points South National HIstoric Registered District in downtown Birmingham, just 3 blocks from the Univesity of Alabama at Birmingham, the State's largest employer which attracts a million visitors annually. It is only a 10 minute taxi ride from the Birmingham/Shuttlesworth International Airport and a 5 minute ride from I-20, I-59, I-65 and Highways 280-31. The Amtrak station is a 5 minute taxi ride and the Greyhound Bus station about 8 minutes away.
What would you say to people who have never stayed in a bed and breakfast?
All guest rooms have private baths, you won't be sharing a bath with strangers. You will also have your own TV in your room and access to high-speed wireless internet inside your room and the premises, if you bring your own hand-helds and lap tops. A key will be issued to your guest room plus a key to the main door, so you'll come and go as you would at home. There isn't a nightly curfew. Your car will be parked on our property, just outside, so no long waits for a valet, parking fees or parking tips, or walking long distances to get your car. You are welcome to join with other guests at the Dining Room table for breakfast, or you may have breakfast in bed if you wish to be pampered. Regular clothes (not pajamas) are worn to the Dining Room breakfast. No smoking or incense burning is allowed in the house. Select the Zebra Room if you wish to have a separate entrance and more modern decor. For a Victorian decorated beautiful room that enters via the parlors and main staircase, plaese select the Camellia, Rose, Bird of Paradise, Periwinkle, Country French or Southern Magnolia rooms.
Is there something more that you want to share about your property?
Relax. Be yourself. Talk with other guests if you wish to, don't feel obligated if you don't. Immerse yourself in history if you wish, by taking a walking tour of the National Historic Five Points Neighborhood the Inn is loated in. Learn about the importance to the nation of the Civil Rights Movement by visiting landmarks closeby in the downtown. Go hunting or fishing and come back for pampering at the Inn. Attend national quality sports events at University of Alabama Football games or Talladega or Barber Motor Sports Speedways. Savor fine dining at nearby National reputed fine dining locations only 2 blocks away, such as Highlands Bar and Grill, Chez Fon Fon, Bottega, or Ocean's Restaurants. Bask in a spa treatment. Go shopping. Prepare for a job interview or speech. Conduct back-of-house research. Have your family reunion or Wedding guests stay at our Inn. We welcome you! Sheila and Ira Chaffin, Owners and Innkeepers